Spark From the Heart
Gracie, the Jack Russell terrier who belongs to Shared Vision co-owner Rebecca Ephraim, is the first to greet Adam when he walks through the magazine’s doors. Whether the diminutive pooch can sense she is in the presence of a great healer or whether she’s just found a kindred spirit, she and Adam hit it off.
“Adam”—his parents have kept his last name and image a tightly guarded secret to protect their teen—has become a quiet but growing phenomenon since he wrote his first bestselling book, Dreamhealer, at the age of 16. Now 19, he’s got a second book under his belt,Dreamhealer 2, and a third on the way.
Young Adam received international press in 2002 for his healing work with Ronnie Hawkins, the rockabilly star and buddy of John Lennon. Hawkins credits Adam with curing him of terminal pancreatic cancer through distance healing. The story got big play, including a feature story on Adam in Rolling Stone magazine.
Adam is an energy healer. Since he was a child, he says, he could see the energy fields of light around people’s bodies. Other children used to accuse him of cheating at hide-and-seek because he could see their auras shining out from the objects they were hiding behind.
Most of what Adam does would be dismissed by medical orthodoxy. After all, here is a teen performing mass “healings” without any sort of formal training or regulation. He works at the quantum or energetic level of the body, something unrecognized by western allopathic medicine.
I had heard of Adam only vaguely and hadn’t read his books. I was anxious to see whether my senses would go off when I met the youth who was now holding mass healing workshops to sold-out crowds in cities across Canada. Was Adam just a New Age version of an evangelical faith healer, exploiting the desperation of the sick and gullible masses?
After reading his books, much of my suspicion melted. There was no evangelical zeal in his message. You may or may not believe in energy healing, but if you know something about traditional medicines, you will know this is nothing new to many cultures. For millennia, China, India, and scores of indigenous nations have worked with the science of the energy body. Distance healings are an ancient art of shamans.
The books also lay out a lot of innocuous common sense you would receive from a wise grandmother to get, stay, and be well: the importance of diet, lifestyle, attitudes, and emotions; living in the moment; and utilizing intention and positive thoughts.
Meeting Adam and his parents was neither weird nor mystical. Their story is amazing, but the family is almost incongruously normal: two loving, protective parents, and a guileless, altruistic, yet down-to-earth son.
Physically, Adam is in that last fleeting stage between teen and man. His voice timbre is striking: basso profundo deep and sonorous, with the occasional mumbling cadence of a kid. He’s tall, dark, and handsome, very athletic—a guy’s guy.
No nerdy New Ager here. His mom confirms later that he has groupies. No surprise. Adam is one dreamy Dreamhealer.
As he pets the devoted terrier Gracie, he paints a picture of his childhood. “It was surprisingly normal until 13 or 14 when I realized others weren’t seeing what I was seeing. At 14, telekinetic events started happening around me, pencils flying out of my hands and such.”
The healing initiation came in Adam’s adolescence on the day his mom, who had been in a wheelchair for a year and a half with multiple sclerosis, lay on her bed, writhing, and screaming into a pillow in agony. She was suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, a side-effect of MS, which causes stabbing pains in the head and face. It is considered among the most painful conditions that exist and is often called “suicide disease.”
What happened next was automatic, says Adam. “For a reason—I’m not sure why—I just walked up to her and put my hand on her head. I saw these images in front of me of this green, pulsating sack of light, and it was very obvious that was the problem. So I grabbed it, pulled it into me, and as a result, her pain vanished. She’s never gotten another pain. I took on her pain. And that was the first healing I did.”
His mom says she’s been virtually symptom-free since that moment. But the thought that 14-year-old Adam had cured his mother of MS, as it appeared he had, left his parents baffled and frightened.
They called a Qigong master in California, with whom Adam’s mom had done a therapeutic workshop for her MS. Qigong is a health system that uses postures, breathing, and intention to clear and balance the qi or life-force energy. The energetic body is seen as the master control of the other bodily systems such as those governing respiration, circulation, digestion, brain, and nerve function.
Dr. Effie Chow, a former Clinton appointee to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine agreed to fly to Vancouver. She helped explain to 14-year-old Adam the subtle energy systems that Chinese medicine has embraced for millennia. Impressed by what Adam could see in other people’s energy systems and bodies, she told his parents he was already virtually a Qigong Grandmaster, something that usually takes a lifetime of training.
Adam, a straight-A student, soaked up the information on energy healing. Now, five years later, he says his understanding of what he sees, and can adjust, in people’s bodies and auras is firmly grounded in science. “A lot of people tend to think healing has to be something spiritual, that it has to be something magical or mystical. But it’s not. All the top scientists in the world are agreeing that—take cell biology, for example—intentions are influencing these cells. It’s not beyond science, it’s very real.”
Another notable mentor of Adam’s is former NASA Apollo astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon. Adam credits Mitchell’s take on quantum hologram theory as coming closest to describing how he heals. In the simplest of terms, quantum hologram describes a universe where information—essentially all matter and energy in the cosmos—is known non-locally and simultaneously. That explains how Adam can heal people at a distance, Mitchell said from his home in Florida.
Long since overwhelmed by the number of requests for personal healings, Adam now holds workshops for about 500 people at a time. They sell out in hours. They are never advertised, just posted on his website: dreamhealer.ca. The site contains hundreds of testimonials from people who claim to have been helped by Adam.
Having been pursued as relentlessly by devotees wanting to touch the hem of his healing robe as the protagonist from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Adam is now on a mission to get people in touch with their owninner healer. Adam discovered he could teach a large number of people to combine their subtle energies into one mass aura, “like soap bubbles that pop into one.” At workshops, he instructs them to use visualizations to effect healing at a quantum level in the body, as he facilitates the process like an orchestra conductor.
“The main thing I’m trying to promote with these books is self-empowerment. We all have the ability to heal ourselves. A lot of people have difficulty accepting responsibility for their own health and feel they have to delegate that responsibility to someone else. I think that’s a real mistake. It’s your health. You have to take control.”
Adam defies pigeonholing. He’s a regular 19-year-old university student who loves to kick box, work out, and go to parties with friends, most of whom have no idea of his other life. The macho, muscled teen likes to manipulate the size of his aura when he’s around babies, noting how their eyes follow the fluctuation of his energy field. “We are all born with many of these abilities. They just get beaten out of us as we get older.”
Ruth Lamb says the type of work Adam is doing is part of a critical mass. “The energetic component is the cutting edge of the new paradigm of health care,” says Lamb, who is head of Vancouver’s Centre for Holistic Health Studies at Langara College. The college offers a three-year practitioner program in Integrative Energy Healing. Soon there will be more than 100 graduates using integrative energy healing in private practice and mainstream health settings in B.C. Among this year’s class is a conventional medical doctor (MD) from Vancouver.
“These principles are backed by modern science in the West and ancient practices in the East,” says Lamb, whose own son was “clairvoyant” as a teen. “Many who are receptive to nature and animals when they’re young find it opens a door to hearing andseeing, sometimes in a medically intuitive way.” She also thinks these gifts are often driven out of us by a culture closed to anything beyond the five senses.
She believes medicine must evolve to embrace the energetic system, along with the endocrine system. “We have to turn to more non-invasive, non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical approaches. Integrative energy healing is highly complementary with Western medicine. It hasn’t harmed, only helped.”
Adam has just signed a major book deal with Penguin and an American TV show is pending. His protective dad says, “Everybody wants a piece of him.” Meanwhile, Adam is just trying to concentrate on his second year at university. He may pursue a degree in medicine, but for now, he’s just trying to be “a regular kid going to school.”
That can be hard.
Adam sometimes has to dodge professional debunkers hiding in the woods, trying to take his picture or sabotage his workshops. He plans to “out” himself, probably next year when he turns 20. “It’s going to happen anyway. I may as well have control of it.”
As for the skeptics, Adam says he doesn’t argue with anyone who doesn’t believe in what he does. While his income is clearly growing, he is adamant that he’s “not in this for the money. I feel not to share this information would be a waste. I want to help as many people as I can. When I was younger, at first I questioned this, but now—well, I know what I know, so I just decided to have the courage to share it. If you have the information, just share it, and see if it resonates with anyone else. That’s all I do.”
When I set up the interview with Adam’s parents, I asked about having Adam look at my aura or say something about my state of health. His mom said he’s reluctant to do this in interviews because “he might see something and it could open a can of worms.” Admittedly, there was a part of me afraid of the same thing. Having a healer blurt out that he sees a tumour on my pancreas could really bring an interview to a crashing halt. Instead, I’m happy to accept an invitation to his next healing workshop.
But as fate would have it, the interview was not to end without a diagnosis. As I’m packing up my tape recorder, Adam sees something very wrong with Gracie, the terrier. It’s her eyes.
Rebecca, Gracie’s owner, is stunned. No one could know by looking at her, but Gracie is blind in one eye. Adam delivers the bad news that the other eye has the same problem. Rebecca is stricken at the thought of Gracie going completely blind.
Adam has no energy healing to offer Gracie, just healing words to a worried Rebecca: “She will probably die of old age long before she loses the sight in the other eye,” he offers kindly.
Later by phone, he says that is honestly what he picked up intuitively about the dog’s prognosis but, also, he wanted to leave Rebecca with a positive thought, because thought affects our intentions, and in quantum physics, intentions “create our future.”
It’s just a taste of the powerful medicine inside each of us, dispensed by a young shaman who has to go now because he has homework to do.
Adam’s next workshop is on November 12, 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. (registration starts at 8:15 a.m.) at the Sheraton Wall Centre (1088 Burrard Street). For more information, go to dreamhealer.com.
Pamela Post is a CBC News reporter, Vancouver writer and registered yoga teacher. She recently won the Jack Webster Journalism Fellowship to study integrative medicine.